Anyone into fitness knows how a good playlist can completely change your workout. However, no one knows the importance of an energizing playlist more than those who run. Rhythmic beats, deep bass, and even uplifting lyrics can be the perfect motivation to push further. However, runners also know the importance of good Bluetooth headphones, or at least they should.
As a runner, you need headphones that meet some criteria that other less sporty music enthusiasts might not covet.
- Headphones need to be both snug and stable enough to withstand the motion of jogging
- Music needs to be heard clearly, but not completely block out noise if running outside
- They need to function well in sweaty environments
- They need to fit comfortably and have unobtrusive cords
- It needs to be compatible with your Bluetooth music device
Top Picks for Bluetooth Headphones Made for Runners
Although the price is a little daunting, the Sony Smart B-Trainer is the ultimate in Bluetooth headphones for fitness. It comes with GPS, an accelerometer, and heart rate monitoring that all functions right in the ear piece, all of which can be used to better track and monitor not only your runs, but any workout. While it has 16 GB of storage and is compatible for music played over iPhone and Android, it also comes with audio fitness coaching. However, one of its nicest features is that it has the capability to suggest what music tracks to play that match your heart rate. It is a fun tidbit that can add a little bit of excitement to your average run.
Bose has always been a brand name that assures quality sound, and that quality does transfer to their SoundSport line of Bluetooth headphones. While all SoundSport’s are great Bluetooth headphones, the Pulse is specifically made with runners in mind. They come built in with a heart rate monitor that works seamlessly with apps like RunKeeper and Endomondo as well as Bose’s own Bose Connect app that lets you monitor your heart rate in real-time. However, compatibility with other fitness apps can be slightly more hit-or-miss. However, the best part of these headphones is that not only do you get the Bose quality sound clarity and deep bass, but you also get headphones designed for a tight fit. With it, you can better hear the music and don’t get the same irritating problem of the ear buds falling out of your ears as you run.
Bluetooth headphones with all these extra great fitness features are wonderful, but for many, not worth a near $200 price tag. However, if you still want the features, but also want the affordability, it comes in the SMS Audio. Created by the unlikely alliance of PC-chip creator Intel and rapper 50 Cent, the SMS Audio provides waterproof headphones that host incredible sound and also track your heart rate for a fraction of the price. However, while they sync seamlessly with Runkeeper and a couple of other fitness apps, compatibility with many other apps is limited. However, it you are not that much of an app person, these provide a solid and cheap pair of Bluetooth headphones that sound great and stay steady as you move.
One of the most frustrating things about ear buds is how they fit. Many high-quality ear bud manufactures make their sport models more like ear plugs so you get a solid fit without worrying about them falling out. However, they also have a noise-canceling effect, which is fine for treadmill use but potentially dangerous if you like to run outside.
The best feature of the Jaybird X3 is that they don’t completely plug up your ears, but come with different sized outer ear pieces that allow a secure fit for all different sized ears. While they don’t provide all the heart rate monitoring and other features of other sport headphones, they provide excellent sound, an excellent fit, and a lengthy eight hours of battery life, allowing you to exercise with confidence and focus. They also feature easy smart phone integration that allows you to take, reject, and call people at a push of a button, something that other sports models skimp on.
With most ear buds, sport designed or not, you run into one common issue – bass, or rather, the lack thereof. Even the SMS Audio that 50 Cent had a hand in designing oddly lacks in bass despite his music being full of it. However, PowerBeats 2, a Beats by Dre product, brings a sport-ready ear bud that provides wonderful quality bass. This model takes more of a Bluetooth headset style to its design, but those outer bars are not just a style choice, they help keep the buds balanced and inside your ears. While it could have a better battery life than the 6 hours it provides, this is a set of Bluetooth headphones that gives runners the ‘oompf’ of solid bass to keep them endlessly motivated.